Townsend, 4-institution team earns top score at Extension summit

Group photo of team members with poster.
Members of the National Sustainability Summit team, representing the University of Florida, WSU, North Dakota State University, and Florida A&M University, took first among national projects at the Impact Collaborative Summit’s LaunchFest competition. From left are Linda Seals, Jennison Kipp-Searcy, Kimberly Davis, Ramona Madhosingh-Hector, Patricia Townsend, David Ripplinger, and Jennifer Taylor.

Patricia Townsend, a WSU Extension specialist in renewable energy and green infrastructure, was honored this spring as part of a team of extension agents creating opportunities for sustainability and change.

Townsend took part in the eXtension Foundation’s Impact Collaborative Summit this spring, as part of the National Sustainability Summit team, representing Washington State University, the University of Florida, North Dakota State University, and Florida A&M University.

Her team received the top score for the national project category during the LaunchFest portion of the Summit, an opportunity for teams to pitch their projects and programs to a panel of Cooperative Extension leaders and external partners. The group, which includes Townsend, Jennison Kipp-Searcy, Ramona Madhosingh-Hector, Linda Seals, Jennifer Taylor, Kimberly Davis, and David Ripplinger, received a $5,000 grant.

The team’s project, the National Sustainability Summit, is a meeting for Extension professionals, researchers, practitioners, and partners working on the urgent issues of climate, energy, water, food, land, and community engagement. The Summit provides tools and strategies to change behaviors, driving innovation in industry and research to improve community vitality and build resilient communities.

Head and shoulders photo of Townsend
Patricia Townsend, WSU Extension specialist.

Team members are currently preparing for the launch of the summit in 2021, identifying and beginning conversations with partners, exploring innovative approaches, and inviting proposals for the next host community. They plan to attract new attendees, particularly from land grant and Hispanic-serving institutions, who will take ideas home to ensure that impacts are felt in all communities.

A research fellow with WSU Extension’s Metropolitan Center for Applied Research & Extension, Townsend works with stakeholders throughout the Pacific Northwest on issues related to renewable energy, ecosystem services, sustainable urban systems, earth abundant materials, and green infrastructure.

Townsend leads outreach for Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest, which includes energy literacy, stakeholder research, and connecting poplar growers with market opportunities. Townsend is also conducting outreach with the Joint Center for Deployment and Research in Earth Abundant Materials, or JCDREAM, a new WSU center focused on earth-abundant materials, which can be more sustainably harnessed than rare materials.

The fall Impact Collaborative Summit will be held October 15-17, 2019, in Atlanta, Ga.